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By Dr Sheela Sidappa

Data science is an incredible discipline, it is the requirement of today and the standard of the future. Yes, different people at different stages of their career/studies seek advice. I try to share some tips and points that can help you.

Student: I have just finished my studies and I am looking for a discipline in engineering.

Question: Is data science/artificial intelligence a good path for me? What kind of job will I get, future etc.?

Here’s what you can expect after graduation and in DS employment:

  1. Work where you implement what you have studied
  2. Each problem statement is unique
  3. Good creativity/learning
  4. Daily reasoning and testing
  5. Wide variety of domains to choose from – wide scope

Yes, you should ask yourself if you are good at math, reasoning, analysis, creativity, common sense. These are prerequisites for Data Science (DS)

Employee with 1-4 years. exp: Work in another discipline and have no DS experience.

Q: How can I still upgrade to DS? Which path should I take? What options are available?

Different people look at their possibilities differently, and I understand your constraints. Here are the corresponding actions and next steps. If you want

1. Spend less/more money but less time: Get a DS certificate, say for 6 months – it’s to learn the fundamentals well. It is beyond learning online courses.

Getting a certificate alone does not take you long. Find a project to work on. I know it’s not easy, getting data is even harder.

Should I check out opportunities in my organization – yes, but there are hundreds of other associates like you in the organization. Therefore, the possibility of getting a project is less.

Develop a good problem statement for an area you know you can get data from (either online, at the gym – your own exercise data and with friends, in your garden – plant growth, plant infection, etc. .). Collect data and solve it. Be more hands-on and learn the real issues in this space and post them in conferences. With this groundwork, you are better prepared to get a good job.

2. Spend a lot of money and time: Opt for a master’s program in DS. Get a good internship project, demonstrate your theoretical knowledge and great communication skills to explain the concept well to management. You are already on the job.

3. You want to be a differentiator: Plan a PhD – University/advisor plays a good role. Four years later, after research work, you are a new personality. You can make your own way

Employee from 5 to 15 years. exp: You had a good time in one or more areas, think it’s time to switch to DS. DS knowledge can range from minimal to average.

Question: How to proceed? What will the future look like?

Here is a plan for you.

  1. Plan for a one-year certification/master’s program (part-time).
  2. You are an expert in your field of work
  3. Stretch to integrate DS into your work. Automate some of the decision making – demonstrate it (only if your boss allows it, take full permissions)
  4. In less than a year or two, you are a perfect blend of business knowledge, business requirements, DS, complete solution.
  5. You are unique.

The author is lead data scientist, Kyndryl.

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